Sunday, September 28, 2003
High crimes and misdemeanors?
From the Washington Post:
At CIA Director George J. Tenet's request, the Justice Department is looking into an allegation that administration officials leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist, government sources said yesterday.
The operative's identity was published in July after her husband, former U.S. ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, publicly challenged President Bush's claim that Iraq had tried to buy "yellowcake" uranium ore from Africa for possible use in nuclear weapons. Bush later backed away from the claim.
The intentional disclosure of a covert operative's identity is a violation of federal law.
The officer's name was disclosed on July 14 in a syndicated column by Robert D. Novak, who said his sources were two senior administration officials.
Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife. Wilson had just revealed that the CIA had sent him to Niger last year to look into the uranium claim and that he had found no evidence to back up the charge. Wilson's account touched off a political fracas over Bush's use of intelligence as he made the case for attacking Iraq.
"Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak.
Talk about a bombshell. Calpundit cuts to the chase:
This is not trivial stuff, and it wasn't an innocent mistake. Someone who is very senior, very experienced, and who is trusted with the highest levels of national security information, exposed a CIA agent. They knew what they were doing, and they shopped it around systematically to make sure someone took the bait.
Even if the two leakers were Ari Fleisher and Karl Rove — people who wouldn't have the names of undercover agents just sitting around, we hope — we still have to ask, Who told them? Be sure to read Josh Marshall as this story unfolds.
Meanwhile, call your representatives. This incredibly reckless abuse of power deserves outrage and sustained pressure from Congress and the press.
Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 28 September 2003 at 5:26 PM